Race BMX: What does it take to ride like the pros?
We sent BMX newbie Mads to race Simone T. Christensen, who is one of the fastest women in the world. See how it went here, and learn the top 3 techniques to become a true race BMX champion.
How hard can it be to master race BMX if you have never been on one before? Well, the answer is very hard. Want to see how it looks, when a total beginner races a pro rider, who just won a silver medal at the European Championship? Then check out the video above.
We’ve gathered 3 techniques you need to focus on if you want to do better on a racetrack than Mads.
Keep your pedals horizontal
This is simply the first thing you need to learn. If you don’t have your pedals in a horizontal position when you’re doing a jump or riding over a set of rollers you will get stuck, or either get out of balance, stop or crash.
But we have some great news. You can practice that at home on the streets. Take a couple of strides and then practice to maneuver the bike around while you keep your pedals horizontal. When you feel that you master the technique, you’re ready to take it to the track and practice it while riding over jumps, rollers and through the berms.
Learn to pump to win the race
Mastering pumping is as important as pedaling when it comes to gaining speed. Pumping is basically a way to gain speed without using your pedals. This comes in handy when you’re out on the track.
As you transition into the jump, shift the body-weight from the front to the back of the bike. At the same, pull your arms and shoulders and legs towards your body. As your front wheel goes down on the roller, you push down and forward with your arms and legs. This will give you more speed, which is crucial if you want to win.
Master the gate
The gate or the snap as it’s called is one of the most important moments in a BMX race. Get a good start and you’re heading in the direction of the victory. Learning how to position yourself at the gate is key to get the best possible start.
Make sure that your bike is placed straight: Look down at your front wheel if it’s sticking out on either of the sides of your frame, you need to correct it. Next thing is the pedals, make sure they’re horizontal.
Your hands, shoulders, feet, and legs should be in the correct position: Get on the bike, put your front foot on the pedal, find the balance and put the other foot on the backpedal. Stand on the bike and learn to stay relaxed. If you start to fall to the left, push forwards on the right side of the handlebar and if you fall to the right, push a little on the left side.
Your arms should be slightly bent and your wrists should be rolled forward (knuckles pointing down). The same goes for your feet and legs. Bend your legs a little and place your feet, so you’re ready to pedal. That how the pro’s do it.